Local students earn awards at FFA Convention
WEST GROVE >> Veterinary science students from the Technical College High School (TCHS) Pennock’s Bridge Campus took the bull by the horns at the 89th National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention & Expo.
Student Halle Becker (Octorara Area) received an individual silver award; Hope Weaver (Oxford Area), Olivia Worrall (Oxford Area) and Gabriella DiLossi (Oxford Area) all received individual bronze awards and the team received an overall bronze award in the Veterinary Science Career Development Event. The National FFA Convention & Expo was held in Indianapolis from Oct. 19-22.
“The National FFA provides priceless opportunities to its members through Career Development Events like Veterinary Science,” said TCHS Animal Science instructor Liz DiSabatino. “Through this experience the TCHS Pennock’s Bridge members were able to gain more knowledge in their field of study as well as develop their interpersonal skills through interactions with professionals in the field of animal health.”
The Veterinary Science Career Development Event is comprised of seven events. These events include a 100 question knowledge assessment; a 50-point math practicum; two scenario essays; four handling practicums and four clinical practicums. The practicums include tool, breed and disease identification as well as a 10-minute team activity, which consisted of a skit about the process of identifying, diagnosing and treating Salmonellosis in dairy cattle.
While the event was highly competitive for the students, it also offered an opportunity for professional development.
“Everyone was very kind and it was amazing to be around so many people from around the country who share a love of agriculture,” said TCHS Veterinary Science student Olivia Worrall. “It was a great learning experience to perform under pressure and there were so many intelligent people there to answer our questions and give advice. This experience is one that I will never forget.”
Worrall is a senior in the TCHS Veterinary Science program from the Oxford Area School District. She is also the FFA vice president for TCHS Pennock’s Bridge.
According to TCHS Pennock’s Bridge principal Dr. Brian Hughes, the hard work of these students is part of a long standing tradition of excellence in the area of veterinary science.
“TCHS is so proud of what Gabriella, Hope, Olivia and Halle accomplished both individually and as a team,” said Hughes. “Their achievement is a direct reflection on their hard work and the skills they are learning from their instructors at TCHS Pennock’s Bridge. To be recognized on a national scale reinforces that TCHS Pennock’s Bridge is turning out world-class students.”
This year’s national FFA Convention & Expo was not the first time that Veterinary Science students from TCHS Pennock’s Bridge have won awards at this event. In 2013, TCHS students received gold and silver awards and the 2013 team received an overall silver medal.
“I have witnessed tremendous maturation in all of our FFA members through the leadership conferences and events that Pennsylvania FFA and National FFA provide,” said DiSabatino. “The students that take full advantage of FFA while in Animal Science and Veterinary Science graduate with confidence that they are prepared for their future.”
The Technical College High School Pennock’s Bridge Veterinary Science team poses with their team bronze award at the Future Farmers of America National Convention & Expo. Pictured from left to right are: Gabriella DiLossi (Oxford Area School District), Hope Weaver (Oxford Area School District), Olivia Worrall (Oxford Area School District) and Halle Becker (Octorara Area School District).